So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
– Romans 10:17 NASB
Paul is reminding believers in Rome that they came to be believers by hearing about Christ. Of course, “Christ” is just the Greek term for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Both mean “Anointed” – because that’s how Israel signified its king: by anointing him with oil. Though it took a while for people to realize all God had in mind for Messiah, they eventually saw that Messiah would not just be king of Israel – He would be king of the world. Even King of the Universe – for Messiah turned out to be God Himself!
Let us go back, however, to Messiah’s more humble beginnings. He was crucified. Not much of a start for a king, eh? Death by any means would be an impossible beginning to a king’s reign, but death by crucifixion was as shameful as a death could be. How could such a shameful end to a human life mark a glorious beginning to a never-ending kingdom?
First, let us be sure to note that Jesus’ crucifixion was shameful only when you look at it from a human point of view. Reconsider it from God’s point of view. There was a condemned man trusting in the goodness of God while his enemies were reviling him and his friends were abandoning him. All the angels and demons of heaven were watching the drama. In the presence of this heavenly audience, Jesus of Nazareth kept faith without wavering. He did not give in to discouragement; he did not deny His Creator. Satan could rejoice that Messiah’s life was being extinguished, but Satan was denied what he wanted most – for Messiah to doubt God has Adam and Eve had. Instead, Messiah continued living by faith – just as he had all his life. Jesus wasn’t shamed; God was glorified!
As a result of his righteous life, Messiah was raised from the dead and promised God’s own throne – being made to sit at His right hand for a little while in waiting. Before the first century was out, the kingdom of God came with Messiah assuming the throne – and all of heaven realizing in that moment that Messiah was merely the clothing that God wore when He came to save us from our sins.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord God, thank You for the knowledge of what You did in Christ. We accept as true what the apostles have told us about You…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.